Photo by pxhere

Who am I?
I log-in as a user-name.
Key-in protected life-passwords
to prove I am ‘me’.
Elsewhere, it is a 4 digit PIN.
I enjoy online status.
Faceless existence.
Multiple Identities.
I juggle ‘this-is-how-I-look-now’ profile images.
Cry attention through
Huff-puff-and-bluff posts.
Tweet one-liners.
I blog.
An interesting post in one.
A likeable quote in another.
Post a ‘I-know-it-all’ comment.
and ‘I-did-this-but-you-didn’t’ picture.
Even, knot my faith with community threads.
I blog, therefore I must E-xist.
Believe my digital avatar
Live my lie with me.
As you watch me in digital fish-bowls
where mpegs and megabytes reel endlessly.
Am I my image?
Am I my profile?
Am I myself, after my 15 minutes of fame?
Is this my alter-ego?
Or am I just trying to be me?
Can anyone know the real ‘me’?
Blame it on the digital age
But then…
Who is it that speaks,
these faint mental quotes?
CTRL + ALT + Mental-delete
Back online.
Refresh page.
I enter my ‘personal cave’.
My disneyland.
A willful prisoner, chained to the links
in the supposedly ‘free’ world of cyberspace
I stare at my interactive ‘Mirror of Erised’.
Endless ‘make-believe’ digital projection.
Public display of ‘give-it-to-me’ attractions.
I see me as I want to be.
Who am I? Does anyone care?
Tell me, the Great I AM.

PS: Where can I hide from you? God, you know the ‘real’ me. Even if I make an ‘escape’ into virtual spaces where I am known only by my username you know me. Or if I am logged in the invisible mode in my ‘personal cave’, you know me. If am on FB with a made-up face and a bluff-post you know me as I am. If I get lost in a seemingly endlesss google search you know me as I am. You are here. There. Everywhere.

Samuel Thambusamy is a PhD candidate with the Oxford Center for Religion and Public Life.